TT&P: Loving Kindness


It's easy to be cynical, to be mean, to be hasty in judgement, to overlook the humanity of another person. It's difficult to be nice, to be forgiving, to reach out to another with loving kindness and embrace that person's fragility. Yet, despite that difficulty, it is precisely that loving kindness to which we are called.

When a child is being loud in play, we are called to have loving kindness. When someone cuts us off on the freeway, we are called to loving kindness. When everything in life seems to be going wrong and we are at our wits end, ready to lash out, ready to scream, ready to cut others down, we are called to loving kindness. Those moments where every cell in our being just wants to be vitriolic, bellicose; those are precisely the moments in which we need to be kind. The fury of our spirits are not the parts to be put on display.

Spreading our unhappiness, robbing others of joy, this is not our mission. Our mission is to love. Our mission is to accept without judgement. Our mission is to be the person for others whom we have needed in our own lives.

In our minds it is easy to give in to despair. It is easy to see all that is wrong on the Earth. It is much harder to see the beauty in the world. It is much harder to see the perfection in every moment. It is difficult to allow ourselves to feel joy. It is difficult to feel as though we are worthy of satisfactiona and happiness.

We give in to cynicism and despair and then we spread it. We talk about all that is wrong. We never give time to what is right. We mimick the worst parts of those around us, and we get furious over things that don't matter. We should mimick the acts of the Saints. We should strive for the Zen of the Buddha. We should endeavor to have the compassion of Christ. Instead, we find ourselves in old habits of action infecting the world with our worst.

How do we cultivate that loving kindness? First, we must understand that all lives are valuable. Second, we must realize that we are not more important than anyone else. Third, we must realize that it ain't about us. Finally, we must set aside time to meditate, to pray, to cultivate mindfulness, to cultivate awareness and gain self-knowledge. Armed with realization and self-knowledge we can start working to change our behaviors, to change our thoughts, and to change our hearts.

I wish you well, and I hope that you can cultivate loving kindness in your own life.

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